Posts Tagged ‘James 1:5’

Asking God for wisdom

January 23, 2017

James 1-5

The Verse of the Day for January 23, 2017 follows closely the words of encouragement found in yesterday’s daily word which focused on the three commands to “ask, seek, and knock.” Today’s exhortation also relates to something that believers should ask God for or earnestly pursue:

James 1:5 (NIV):

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Asking God for wisdom can be seen as part of our pursuit of wisdom which we are asked to do, not only in James 1:5, but the Book of Proverbs also offers “words of wisdom” to all those who desire to seek this valuable attribute. Indeed, as Proverbs 16:16 (NLT) tells us:

How much better to get wisdom than gold,
and good judgment than silver!

Once we recognize the inestimable worth of wisdom, we will seek it, knowing that we will find what we diligently pursue.

In reading the Verse of the Day and reflecting on wisdom, I recall this poetic description:

The Power of Wisdom

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:

and with all thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7

 

When we choose to build, we look to the Scriptures and find

That seeking after wisdom is the key to our success,

For wisdom has great power to promote and to bless.

With wisdom we can perceive the Father’s hidden design.

Companion to wisdom is power to loose and to bind

The enemy and then become the strongman of righteousness.

Follow the way of wisdom and path of holiness.

Pursue wisdom as a treasure, priceless as peace of mind.

As we move toward our destiny, wisdom serves as our midwife

To give birth to dreams within us, waiting to be fulfilled.

Wisdom defeats deceptive spirits and nullifies strife.

We walk in the power of our calling, seeking to be filled

With wisdom which brings riches and honor and a long life:

We use wisdom first to dismantle, then accurately build.

Today’s entry concludes with a moving rendition of “The Perfect Wisdom of God” by Keith and Kristyn Getty:

Still pursuing wisdom

January 23, 2016

James-1-5

The Verse of the Day for January 23, 2016 can be viewed as a follow-up to the Verse of the Day from yesterday where we focused our attention on the verbs, “ask, seek, and knock,” as revealed in Matthew 7:7-8. Today we are looking at the blog entry posted a year ago which has been modified, as we direct our attention to James 1:5 (NKJV) where we are encouraged to ask:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

The Verse for Today brought to mind the exhortation to pursue wisdom. Asking God for wisdom can be seen as part of our pursuit of wisdom which we are asked to do, not only James 1:5 but throughout the Book of Proverbs as well. Note what Proverbs 2:4-6 has to say:

4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

The idea of pursuing wisdom brought to mind an incident that occurred almost fifty years ago. Having been drafted into the Army in 1967 during the Vietnam era, I was in basic training during the first weeks of the New Year. At the end of the training period, we were told to prepare for a thorough inspection of our barracks by the Inspector General. I recall that I had received my first pay which I had placed in the bottom of an empty stationery box that I had hidden underneath some of the clothing items that lined my footlocker. In my haste to prepare for the IG inspection, I inadvertently threw what I thought was an empty box into the trash which I later recalled having thrown into the dumpster behind the barracks. We passed the inspection with flying colors and our company performed well on the parade field, being selected as the group with the best formation. As a result we were given a pass to go into the neighboring town for the day.

As I went to get my pay which I had stashed away, I realized that I had thrown my month’s wages into the trash, as I remembered what I had done in preparing my footlocker for inspection. Without hesitation, I walked swiftly to the back of the barracks and climbed into the dumpster. In pursuing the object, I ignored the strange looks and snide comments and inquiries that asked “Johnson, what are you doing? What are you looking for?” I walked over to the area where I recall that I dumped the trash, and I diligently searched for and finally found the box that contained the money that I was looking for.

The Bible urges us to follow after or to pursue wisdom in the same manner that you would seek to find hidden treasures, such as silver or gold. In a similar manner, the object that I was seeking was more valuable to me than the embarrassment or inconvenience that I had to endure in order to obtain it. When I jumped into the dumpster without hesitation, I demonstrated the essence of message of the following poem:

In Pursuit of Wisdom

13 Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man
who finds skillful and godly Wisdom,
and the man who gets understanding
[drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences],

14 For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver,
and the profit of it better than fine gold.

Proverbs 3:13-14 (AMP)

To cause to flee as one chases an enemy,
To relentlessly follow and then overtake,
As a hunter reads footprints and tracks down his game,
Likewise, wisdom arouses me as I awake.
Desire, a fire, flames the passion deep within me.
Though I have felt her touch and kissed her lips before,
As a lover pursues his beloved, so I
Yearn to be with wisdom, to know her even more,
Assured that all who pursue her shall also find.
As the sun rises to follow its daily course,
With zeal I seek wisdom with my heart, soul and mind,
As one traces a winding river to its source.
As one forsakes all to pursue a priceless treasure,
So I seek the Spirit of wisdom’s good pleasure.

Reflecting on an experience that occurred almost fifty years ago, I recognize that I am still asking for wisdom while earnestly seeking to find knowledge, understanding and all the attributes of God.

I conclude this blog entry with a song of worship that also came to mind, “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee” with lyrics by Don Moen:

How should we then live?

January 3, 2016

Titus 2--11-13Take one day at a time, seeking God’s direction and guidance each day. In light of the previous Verse of the Day which reminds us to number our days, as we apply our hearts unto wisdom, The Verse of the Day for January 3, 2016 shows us what we should deny or reject and what we should embrace.

Titus 2:11-12 (NLT)

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

This passage brings to mind How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the historical documentary film series and book by theologian Francis A. Schaeffer. Originally published in 1976, the series presents Schaeffer’s view that when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken, this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society. This leads to what Schaeffer calls “Freedom without chaos.”

In response to the question raised by the title of the celebrate work by Schaeffer, “How should we then live?” Titus 2:12 clearly proclaims:

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God

If we are to live meaningful lives that make a difference and impact the world in a positive way, we must understand the importance of these three vital character traits:

Wisdom

In our efforts to live lives that are pleasing in God’s sight, wisdom is essential. James 1:5 (NLT) exhorts us regarding this notable virtue:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

As a kind of golden thread that is woven throughout the Book of Proverbs, Solomon’s advice to his son provides a priceless resource for seeking and applying the principles of wisdom. We are encouraged to pursue wisdom:

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

Righteousness:

“Righteousness” is an essential aspect of our identity as Christian believers. 1 Corinthians 1:30 makes known this truth:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Righteousness is one of those divine attributes of God imparted unto us through Christ. Think of it as being in a right relationship with the Creator, our gracious Father. We are “all right” with God, and God is “all right” with us. We abide in a state of righteousness, not our own which is “as filthy rags” but in the righteousness of God.

Devotion:

Devotion in a spiritual context is said to be wholehearted commitment to God. The people of God are encouraged to demonstrate such commitment and dedication. Often devotion is expressed in terms of prayer or worship or some other evidence of godly behavior. Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the Temple makes this statement:

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. (1 Kings 8:23)

While reflecting upon the Verse of the Day, I thought of a poem that speaks directly of wisdom and makes reference to “Christ, our righteousness,” and ends with the phrase “the fear of the Lord,” which is connected to devotion:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in Your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand perfected and destined to walk upright,

Your beloved ones, whose heart Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

 

We close with the Scripture Memory Song: Titus 2:11-12:

James 1:5: Asking God for wisdom

January 23, 2015

James-1-5

The Verse of the Day for January 23, 2015 can be viewed as a follow-up to the Verse of the Day from the previous day where we focused our attention on the verbs, “ask, seek, and knock,” as revealed in Matthew 7:7-8. Today we are looking at the blog entry posted a year ago and modifying it, as we direct our attention to James 1:5 in the New Living Translation:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

This exhortation from James brings to mind the exhortation to pursue wisdom. Asking God for wisdom can be seen as part of our pursuing of wisdom which we are asked to do, not only in James 1:5 but throughout the Book of Proverbs as well. The idea of pursuing wisdom brought to mind an incident that occurred a number of years ago.

I recall going on a field trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park, outside of Gary, Indiana, when I was in middle school, what we called “junior high school,” back in the day. Somehow I came across a small stream running through a wooded area. As I followed the creek through the winding woods, I was determined to find the area where the stream began, but as I progressed, the size of the stream remained the same and continued to flow on seemingly endlessly. After about a half an hour, I realized that I needed to get back to area where we supposed to meet before departing on the bus and returning to “the Steel City.” When I arrived at the place where we were to meet, I learned that I was quite late, and that I had delayed their departure.

As I was reflecting upon the exhortation to ask God for wisdom, this experience from my childhood came to mind, in light of the directive to pursue wisdom, to search diligently for wisdom, and wholeheartedly seek to find this valuable spiritual entity. I also thought of the following poem that is related to one of the Seven Spirits of God spoken of in Isaiah 11:2 and elsewhere:

 The Spirit of Wisdom

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.

  And in all your getting, get understanding.

 Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

 

As I finish my course, I shall walk and not faint

And cause to flee, as one chases an enemy.

As a hunter tracks down his game with no restraint,

So your fragrance arouses me as I awake.

Desire, a fire, flames the passion deep within me.

Though I have felt your touch and kissed your lips before.

As a lover pursues his beloved, so I

Yearn to be with you and to know you even more,

Assured that all who pursue you shall also find.

As the sun rises to follow its daily course,

Zealously I seek you with my heart and soul and mind,

As one traces a winding river to its source.

As one forsakes all to pursue a priceless treasure,

So I seek the Spirit of Wisdom’s good pleasure.

 

Although that experience occurred almost sixty years ago, I am still asking for wisdom while earnestly seeking to find the source of all life, the river of life, from which flows wisdom, knowledge, understanding and all the attributes of God.

The last line of the poem brings to mind a song that captures the essence of who all believers desire to be: “Seekers of Your Heart” rendered by Steve Green, Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris.

Ask God: In pursuit of wisdom

January 23, 2014

 

James 1-5

The Verse for Today in the King James Version brought to mind the exhortation to pursue wisdom. Asking God for wisdom can be seen as part of our pursuit of wisdom which we are asked to do, not only James 1:5 but throughout the Book of Proverbs as well. The idea of pursuing wisdom brought to mind an incident that occurred a number of years ago.

I recall going on a field trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park, outside of Gary, Indiana, when I was in middle school, what we called “junior high school,” back in the day. Somehow I came across a small stream running through a wooded area. As I followed the creek through the winding woods, I was determined to find the area where the stream began, but as I progressed, the size of the stream remained the same and continued to flow on endlessly. After about a half an hour, I realized that I needed to get back to area where we supposed to meet before departing on the bus and returning to “the Steel City.” When I arrived at the place where we were to meet, I learned that I was quite late, and that I had delayed their departure.

As I was reflecting upon the exhortation to ask God for wisdom, this experience from my childhood came to mind, in light of the directive to pursue wisdom, to search diligently for wisdom, and wholeheartedly seek to find this valuable spiritual entity. I also thought of the following poem that is related to this topic:

In Pursuit of Wisdom

 

Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man

who finds skillful and godly Wisdom,

and the man who gets understanding

[drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences],

 

For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver,

and the profit of it better than fine gold.

Proverbs 3:13-14

 

To cause to flee as one chases an enemy,

To relentlessly follow and then overtake,

As a hunter reads footprints and tracks down his game,

So your fragrance arouses me as I awake.

Desire, a fire, flames the passion deep within me.

Though I have felt your touch and kissed your lips before,

As a lover pursues his beloved, so I

Yearn to be with you and to know you even more,

Assured that all who pursue you shall also find.

As the sun rises to follow its daily course,

Zealously I seek you with my heart and soul and mind,

As one traces a winding river to its source.

As one forsakes all to pursue a priceless treasure,

So I seek the Spirit of Wisdom’s good pleasure.

 

Although that experience occurred almost sixty years ago, I am still asking for wisdom while earnestly seeking to find the source of all life, the river of life, from which flows wisdom, knowledge, understanding and all the attributes of God.

I conclude this blog entry with a song of worship that also came to mind, “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee” with lyrics by Don Moen: